What's In Outdoors Calendar
Brewers and Broadcasters Golf Tournament
Bluestem Farm and Ranch Conservation Days first Friday and Saturday in September
Kansas Hunt/Fish Expo--Beau Arndt Appreciation Day. Peter Pan Park
WoodFest at Camp Wood - http://woodfestks.com/
Photo: Francis and Janice Bergquist
A Father’s Day Tribute----Thanks, Dad.
........We had a good time at the Lake during the Memorial Day weekend with most of the family being able to make the "get together" one day or the other. The fishing wasn’t too bad either, considering intermittent rains, high, murky waters, and the wind.
Earth wind and fire-- Yes, we had fire-- when Wifeus burnt the hot dogs!
The note on the refrigerator door was dated August 20, 1995, and had to do with regulations concerning how the family cabin was to be run since my father passed away less than a month earlier. With me being the oldest and living the closest, I guess I just took it upon myself to administer a list of rules to be followed when using the cabin.
Rule Number One had to do with no work being done--don’t even worry about getting the car unloaded and supplies put away--until hooks are baited and lures cast to proven time-tested "honey holes" around docks, stumps, rock piles and brush. I just couldn’t understand how Pop spent half the day down at the lake and not even wet a line. More than once he told me he had to take the poles out of the water because the fish were so active he just couldn’t get any work done and enjoy all the other things that being outside had to offer. Other things, was he serious? What could be more important than reeling in fish, one right after the other once the bite is on?
A work ethic that included picking purple hulled peas for less than a quarter an hour when that was the only job available and coming from a large family that depended on everyone doing their fair share just to get by can do strange things to a fellow.
Number Two on the list was to get bait secured, especially if I was going to make it down later. I just couldn’t stand the thought of a big old catfish prowling around the dock and there not being a juicy tidbit of some sort offered, enticing the fish to bite and into the frying pan!
Chore Number Three and only if the fish weren’t biting was to mow the lawn in front of the cabin. We do need to keep a respectable appearance. Remember to roll up the garden hoses and try to keep the riding lawnmower from bouncing off the trees and the corner of the cabin. Pop got a kick out of watching the grandkids "learn to drive" and never a harsh word was said when such incidents occurred.
The back of our cabin had long been declared "wildlife habitat area" ever since the day he and I ran our pointing dogs over “hill and dale” only to find more than 30 quail in an unmowed oasis of tall grass behind the cabin upon our return. I don’t know who jumped the highest when they exploded under our feet, him or me?
Wild flowers are starting to get a hold now. Black-eyed Susans, purple coneflowers, spider wort and the sunflowers all interlaced with the delicate white, frost-pattern of Queen Anne’s lace blossoms are a sight to see. The family favorite is a butterfly milkweed plant about the size of a peach basket that always returns in its orange blaze of glory.
Rule Number Four--absolutely no "wimp coffee." Five scoops of coffee to about ten cups of water should about do it, although I think he made his a little stronger.
As time went on, I found it increasingly hard to return to our beloved "wilderness" retreat because the memory of the man who introduced me to the wonders of nature, taught me about hunting and fishing and presented me with my first sporting firearm and dog to go with it was just too painful to bear. Dad wouldn’t be there anymore and I just never realized how much I cherished his company.
Pop also taught me about World War II and the horrors of war being a necessary evil needed to preserve our freedom. A lot of good men and women made supreme sacrifices in order for us to enjoy the liberties we have today. Their sacrifices make it possible for us to relax for a weekend at the lake, be at a golf course or perhaps even participate in the Indy 500. Freedom to do whatever suits our fancy. The flag, "God Bless America" and the Pledge of Allegiance were never to be taken lightly at our house.
Dad’s presence lingered everywhere---in the boat, on the water, up in the garden, down at the dock, the Easter egg hunts, working and laughing. The memories of our outdoor experiences will be a part of me and the cabin forever.
Memories. To this day, I still catch a glimpse of a nonexistent roaster of fried chicken on the stove in the kitchen of the cabin. A pan so full the lid wouldn’t fit would always await my arrival. Dad and I loved chicken. Whenever there was a sale, he was always first in line. Pop’s chicken, bread and butter sandwiches, fried okra, green onions and cold sliced tomatoes made a meal fit for a king, the lake being our Kingdom. I never gave it much thought on how early he had to get up and commence frying all that chicken.
Closure is something I don’t think I’m fully capable of understanding. Maybe I’m not supposed to. Last October when I shut the cabin up for the winter, a ritual he and I shared for years, I entertained the thought of selling the cabin. Three years had passed and the bewildering feeling of his not being there, ever again, was just too much to bear. My spirits were about as low and dull as the melancholy song of the Harris sparrow that cold, gray, dreary day.
Something happened this Spring that gave me strength, a form of spiritual rejuvenation, I guess, and I decided to keep the cabin. Seeing my niece, a rambunctious seven-year-old, catch fish and answering to her inquisitive imagination concerning our outdoor world probably had as much to do with making this decision as anything. A friend who has a young fish-o-matic son and who helped me fix the cabin’s leaking roof was another reason.
Purple martins have also returned to our houses, the first since Dad’s passing. And, on Memorial Day we watched a pair of bluebirds build a nest in the newly erected box on the front lawn. It now contains four eggs. Life goes on.
The peonies and irises Dad grew behind the cabin especially for "Decoration Day" were splendid this year despite all the wind and rain. I put a couple of tomato plants in the ground next to his flower garden with hopes of catching some of his magic.
Believe it or not, I think I learned what some of those "other things" in life are. A big part of my "lake time" is now spent just watching the birds, puttering around the place and finding solace in having been blessed with such a wonderful family, father and friend.
Dad, thanks for the memories and Happy Father's Day
Council Grove, Kansas – On Jun 13th, a small army of bass boats, fishermen, volunteers and veterans descended on Council Grove City Lake. This was the first year that Patriot Outdoors Adventures (a 501(c)3 charity dedicated to “Helping Heroes Heal”) was hosting a tournament for veterans in which a veteran was teamed up with a member of the local bass clubs (I-70 Bass Anglers and Twin Lakes Bass Club) to compete in a fishing tournament.
Marty Thurman (local host and tournament coordinator) had a dream to help Patriot Outdoors Adventures by hosting 4 or 5 veterans out to the lake to cook some steaks and do some fishing. However, in a few short months that plan had developed into a city wide effort that included local businesses, the City Council, Council Grove City Lake Association and a whole slew of sponsors in order to put on a tournament with 16 teams to include; an opening ceremony; professional weigh-ins; presentation of the colors by the local fire department and Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 65; an award ceremony and a catered lunch for the teams and any public that was observing the tournament.
This year, there were 16 teams that competed in the “Helping Heroes Heal Bass Fishing Tournament” a catch and release tournament. By 5am all the teams were headed to boat ramp at the city lake, where they were greeted by the local fire station that had a ladder truck that was hosting a large American flag and POW/MIA flag. At sunrise, the lake was treated to a singing of the National Anthem and then the sight of all of the boats motoring out to their fishing sites.
Throughout the day, boats filled with veterans were present around the whole lake. There were houses and boat docks decorated with flags, banners and even words of encouragement from home owners that were out on their docks as these teams were busy trying to entice that next big bass to take their lure. Volunteers were present on boats to offer snacks and drinks to the teams, in order to keep them motivated and ensure that everyone was safe.
After six hours, all the teams met at the boat ramp to weigh their catch for the day and celebrate a fun filled day with new friends and share stories of the next state record that got away. During the weigh-in (hosted by Kansas Team Trail) there were observers from as far as Nebraska, Ft. Riley, Kansas City and Wichita.
Patriot Outdoors Adventures, was started in 2008 by Mark Spencer, a retired senior Non-Commissioned Officer. He started the organization as a way to take soldiers that were in dire need of mentoring out on fishing and camping trips to get them into a stress free environment and then offer advice and guidance without the pressure of rank or of a military setting. He found that many soldiers just needed a good mentor and a chance to “hit the reset button” on their path through life.
As we fast forward to today, Patriot Outdoors Adventures has taken over 1,200 veterans out on adventures that include fishing, camping, outdoor activities and wildlife conservation events. However, the event is just the lure to get the veterans out to participate. It is around the campfire and dinner table that the real power is felt during the events.
Many veterans that participate feel like they are alone, don’t have the “brotherhood” or “sisterhood” to fall back on, and that they are lost to navigate the transition to civilian life with a variety of injuries (sometimes a combination of physical, mental and emotional). By getting groups of like minded veterans together, they start to build bonds, mentor and self guide each other through life’s struggles.
One veteran mentioned, “A night with my fellow veterans does more good than weeks with a counselor.” This cannot be explained in words, but by watching how complete strangers can turn into attentive, caring and listening friends within hours of meeting each other. This is also true of the volunteers and boat captains that participated in the event.
Through events such as this “Helping Heroes Heal Bass Fishing Tournament” and other events that take place throughout the year, many times veterans build bonds and friendships with the hosts and volunteers that allow that veterans to return to partake in more experiences even though the event has ended.
If you are interested in learning more about events for Patriot Outdoors Adventures, or are curious as to how you can help with events in the future, please contact Nathan McClure (785) 375-1327.
Non-profit fishing outreach organization to launch contest on Father’s Day, June 21st … Lucky youth anglers could win dream vacation, boat and much more!
South Padre Island, TX (June 15, 2015) – Non-profit organization Fishing’s Future has nearly 60 chapters in more than 15 states with the primary mission of getting kids and adults outdoors. In 2014 alone, Fishing’s Future chapters worked with over 100,000 participants – all by unpaid chapter organizers and volunteers. http://fishingsfuture.org/ This year the organization anticipates reaching 250,000 youth anglers and parents.
Now, after 10 years of conducting FAMILY FISH CAMPs (FFCs), Fishing's Future is growing and gaining national recognition. Through unique concepts like parental inclusion, Leave-No-Trace philosophy, and environmental stewardship, Fishing’s Future has helped make profound changes in families and communities across the nation, while building the next generation of anglers.
“Positive people bring positive change and that’s what Fishing’s Future is all about,” says founder Shane Wilson. “All across America, families are turning to electronic devices to communicate. Family communication, as it once was, is decreasing and the human connection is slowly being replaced with digital neutrality. Our goal is to get kids and parents back on the water, forging bonds and creating memories that will last a lifetime!”
Along these lines, Fishing’s Future is proud to announce the launch of national Catch-Photo-Release contest for youth anglers on Father’s Day, June 21st, 2015. http://fishingsfuture.org/ The contest is not species-specific and is free for any youth ages 16 and under across the nation.
Contest requirements are simple. All a young angler has to do is catch a fish, photograph it, release it, and write a 200 word (or under) reflection on their angling experience, then submit the photo and mini-essay via the Fishing’s Future Facebook page between Sunday, June 21st, and contest end, August 31st, 2015. http://facebook.com/fishingsfuture
All entries will be reviewed and winners chosen by Fishing’s Future chapter volunteers. Winners will be notified via e-mail and publicized via Facebook.
Grand prize winner will receive a week-long, vacation at beautiful Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort on South Padre Island, Texas, for a family of four, airfare courtesy of South Padre island Convention and Visitors Bureau. Grand prize package will also include Black Dragon Pirate Ship cruise, a guided shark fishing excursion and much more! Airfare, hotel and activity expenses covered; food & drink not included.
Second place winner will receive a 2015 Tracker Grizzly 1448 MVX Jon boat and trailer courtesy of the Tracker Marine Group! http://www.trackerboats.com/boat/?boat=3669
Third place winner will receive a Humminbird Helix SI GPS and Old Town Vapor 12 kayak with paddle and PFD. http://www.humminbird.com/Products/HELIX-5-SONAR-GPS/ and http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/kayaks/vapor_angler_family/
And each week four random winners will be drawn to receive rod/reel and tackle prize packages courtesy of Fishing’s Future sponsors Pure Fishing and Plano. http://purefishing.com/ & http://www.planomolding.com/
For more information, please visit http://fishingsfuture.org/